A 1700’s loom has been restored and returned back to the original Thomas Whitty factory in time for the launch this Easter of our new Axminster Heritage Centre and Museum. A huge amount of fund raising and volunteer work has allowed the renovation of Thomas Whitty House, the home of Axminster Carpets.
This impressive loom, just one of the historical displays on show, would probably have been operated by a group of nimble fingered young girls. They would have worked in harsh conditions putting in the very small knotting required to produce the finest carpets for wealthy aristocrats and royalty. The loom was restored by Mike Rowlands Wheelwrights and Coachbuilders of Colyton. Whilst working on it Greg Rowland discovered the name of one of his ancestors inscribed on one of the large gear wheels which would suggest their company had a hand in its original manufacture!
Through the kind efforts of some of the Axminster Tools workforce, the loom has now been moved back into the Heritage Centre for all to see. And you can also see one of those fine carpets from around that time, the famous ‘Rockbeare’ Axminster carpet which was made in 1769.
The new Axminster Heritage Centre and Museum opens the first phase of its renovation to the public this Easter. Admission is free and it will remain open until October.